Over and over people tell me that they’re “just not good with numbers.” The numbers don’t mean anything to them. One dollar, $10, $100, $1000, a million? Is it just a bunch of extra zeros tack on? Many people just can’t relate.
So how about instead of focusing on numbers you focus on choices you must make instead. Let’s say, for example, you’re heading off to buy a new coat. You’ve got a budget of $80, but when you walk into that fancy schmancy store you love to “just browse” in you fall in love.
The coat is on sale. It looks fabulous on you. It’s $320. That’s four times what you planned to spend, three times more than you have. So you rationalize. Hey, that’s just an extra $240… what’s $240… not all that much, right? You can find $240 to have this fabulous coat that you can wear for the next ten years. Hey, that’s just $24 a year… so worth it!
Don’t look at the numbers in terms of numbers because being the delusional fool that you are, you can talk yourself into anything. Instead look at the choice you’re going to have to make between two sumthin’ sumthin’s that you want.
On the left side of the scale is the $240 extra for the coat. On the right side of the scale is the ________________________________ (what’s your pleasure?) Fill in the blank with lunches out, daily designer coffee, drinks with friends, the concert tickets you were planning to buy.
You have a finite amount of money so you have to make a choice.
Will you give up coffee on the way to work for 48 days? Is that gorgeous coat worth it to you to make your own cuppa at home and avert your eyes as you walk past the coffee house?
Will you pack your lunch every day next month so you have the money for the coat? Will you forgo the baseball game, the theatre tickets, seeing your favorite band with your old roommates from university? What will you give up in real tangible terms to have that coat?
Believe it or not, money really isn’t about numbers, it’s about choices. Do you know what you’re willing to give up in order to get what you THINK you want?